Sunday, 19 January 2014

Is Being Gay a Choice?

I asked a lot of people this questions this week, and I got really shocking answers. Not to say i have the answer, but I can say I know what the answer is not. Since President Goodluck Jonathan signed the anti-gay bill into law earlier this week, the Nigerian cyber space (and the world at large) have been talking about the consequences of his actions. There are a couple of people that say they are happy with the law, and that America doesn't have the rights to dictate what we do in this country (following the condemnation of the law by the American Government). Well, personally, I do not care what Americans have to say or what they don’t have to say about Nigeria, what I care about is what happens in Nigeria, and how it affects me and the other citizens of our Great country. And to that note, I ask the million dollar question- ‘Is Being Gay a Choice?’

Are people born Gay, or do they wake up one morning and decide they want to be homosexuals? I have read a lot on this the last couple of days, and no one seems to have a concrete undisputed answer to the question. There are people that believe there is a gay gene, and that people that are born with the gene become gay; there are people that believe that homosexuality is an abomination sent from the pits of hell by the devil; and there are those that believe that homosexuality is a learnt sexual preference, thus they believe it’s a choice. As I said earlier, I do not have the answers, so I would like to have people tell me what they feel about this. And I am not talking of stereo-type answers that you have heard other people say. Think for a minute, put yourself in a Gay person's shoes, and then do a little research, before you answer me.

They are people that believe that people are not born Gay, but become so in their formative years as kids, based on their environment and what they are exposed to growing up. I think this is close to what I can agree with. Personally, I can’t say authoritatively whether or not being gay is a choice, but I can argue for why I feel it is not a choice. Just like the stereotypical homophobe would hit me with- ‘God made Adam and Eve and not Adam and Steve’, I would ask- What would make an individual deliberately choose to be discriminated against and persecuted if he/she had a choice of being a heterosexual. If you had a choice of just switching to being  normal and stop the hate against you, why not do that and let everybody be happy? That would be the sane thing to do, right? Unless people believe that Gay people are insane...and if that’s the case, what would 14 years in prison do to help their mental situation?

I think having sex is a choice, but wanting to have sex is not a choice. What I mean by that statement is- when a heterosexual man sees a naked woman that he desires, his thoughts are automatically that of SEX. He doesn't have to make a conscious choice whether or not he should get aroused by her, it is an automatic reaction in his body. But he can choose to control himself and not go along with the act by suppressing his feelings. As long as he is a heterosexual man, he cannot choose not to feel aroused by the sight of a naked woman; It is impossible. So, i also think it is impossible for a homosexual man to not feel anything sexual for another man. I hope you get my drift? If scientists or psychologists want to look into why that is so, and come up with how to reverse homosexuality to what the society sees as normal sexual preference (heterosexuality), that would be better option than criminalizing homosexuality.

So, lets take a look at what would happen if homosexuals are sent to jail in their thousands in the next couple of months in Nigeria- They are locked up with same sex as theirs (man with man and woman with woman), and that would lead them to have sex (sometimes forced sex) with many other homosexuals. And after 14 years they would be released to the society again. The purpose of sending people to jail in the first place is to make them remorseful of their acts and change their ways for the better; that purpose is defeated in this case, as it will only leave them worse off.

These are just my thoughts on the matter. I am not an expert on this issue, I just view things with an open mind. I always try to put myself in other person's shoes to understand why he/she does what he/she does. And in this case, I don’t think a Gay person would wake up one morning and decide to be Gay. How do you do that? You just flick a switch in your head, and Wala! You are gay? I think Homophobes should try flicking that switch for just a day to prove to world that being Gay really is a choice. I know why a lot of people think like this; it’s because they are repulsed by the sight of gay people. Well, I can understand that, but it doesn't mean you should hate them because you can’t understand why they are the way they are. 

In 2006, it was discovered that popular American pastor, Ted Haggard had been having a homosexual relationship with a male escort. This was a man who openly condemned gay people for many years. Senior pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Bishop Eddie Long protested same-sex marriage for many years. It was discovered in 2010 that he had been having homosexual affairs with 4 members of his church. He bought the young men cars, and took them on separate trips around the world. UK Based Nigerian pastor, Albert Odulele was convicted of two counts of sexual assault in 2011. He had been having a homosexual relationship with a 14 year old boy, and another with a 21 year old man. Why am I saying all these? I am not judging anyone, I am just trying to understand why these Men Of God would choose to be gay, to the detriment of their reputation. I think I should leave you with that thought...ponder on it.

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